Apple has another record quarter

The money rolls in, but investors still aren't happy
Darren Allan

January 25, 2013

Yet again, Apple has broken its own sales records with another storming set of fiscal results for the final quarter of 2012.

We’re talking revenue of $54.5 billion (£34.5 billion) with a record net profit of no less than $13.1 billion (£8.3 billion). That is, with shade of a doubt, a staggering amount of money flying into the Cupertino company’s coffers.

Those numbers were driven by iPhone and iPad sales which reached new heights.

The iPhone was, of course, buoyed by the release of the iPhone 5 which was available for the full duration of this quarter – and the iPad refresh, plus the iPad mini too, didn’t hurt the tablet side of the business.

Apple says it sold 47.8 million iPhones in Q4 2012, well up on the 37 million flogged in the same period last year. iPad sales hit 22.9 million, up from 15.4 million, though Apple didn’t say how many of these slates were iPad minis.

The only negative piece of news was that Mac was down from 5.2 million sold last year to 4.1 million, a considerable drop – perhaps caused by the number of Ultrabooks around, which are dropping in price fairly rapidly?

iPods were down, but that’s no surprise as they’ve been in constant decline since the upsurge in sophisticated smartphones and tablets. They dropped to 12.7 million units, from 15.4 million in Q4 2011.

Apple was predictably upbeat and indeed Tim Cook said he was “thrilled” with the sale of in excess of 75 million iOS devices.

However, investors didn’t react that well to the news – even though the quarter was undeniably a positive one, evidently analysts expected better. Apple’s stock dropped 10 per cent following the announcement.

Apple does indeed have a lot to live up to when record breaking quarters aren’t good enough – and there are plenty of mutterings around the industry that the company could have a tougher time this year.

How long evolutionary refreshes of the iPhone and iPad are going to keep momentum in high gear going forward is debatable, and Apple could use a sparkly new product. If it’s the rumoured Apple TV, though, that could be a risk price-wise in this economic climate…


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